President Donald Trump baffled many listeners on Saturday when he appeared to refer to an attack in Sweden that did not occur. Trump was discussing refugees in Europe during a rally in Florida when he made the comment.
“You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden — who would believe this? Sweden, they took in large numbers, they are having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening Brussels, you look at what’s happening all over the world,” he said.
No incident occurred in Sweden on Friday night, though Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran a segment that evening about a filmmaker who claims crime surges in Sweden are linked to immigrants in the country. Trump often repeats what he sees on cable news.
Trump’s assertion drew confusion from Swedes and others.
“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted.
Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound. https://t.co/XWgw8Fz7tj
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 19, 2017
Maybe Trump is Shocked about our free healthcare, free education and that we show humanity to refugees? #LastNightInSweden
— Anna Skarsjö (@AnnaSkarsjo) February 19, 2017
Trump believes terror group 'IKEA' may be behind Sweden attack. #swedenincident
— Paul Lamb (@Lambykins60) February 19, 2017
You have to admire the Swedish people, even in a time of tragedy, for their elegant mourning attire pic.twitter.com/ECdJMthvfk
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) February 19, 2017
This wasn’t the first time the White House has been mocked over an apparent reference to an attack. While defending Trump’s travel ban earlier this month, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway cited the “Bowling Green massacre,” a terrorist attack that never happened.